Petteril Green Romano-British farmstead, associated field system and two trackways


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Eden (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NY 47815 42074

Reasons for Designation

In Cumbria and Northumberland several distinctive types of native settlements dating to the Roman period have been identified. The majority were small, non- defensive, enclosed homesteads or farms. In many areas they were of stone construction, although in the coastal lowlands timber-built variants were also common. In much of Northumberland, especially in the Cheviots, the enclosures were curvilinear in form. Further south a rectangular form was more common. Elsewhere, especially near the Scottish border, another type occurs where the settlement enclosure was `scooped' into the hillslope. Frequently the enclosures reveal a regularity and similarity of internal layout. The standard layout included one or more stone round-houses situated towards the rear of the enclosure, facing the single entranceway. In front of the houses were pathways and small enclosed yards. Homesteads normally had only one or two houses, but larger enclosures could contain as many as six. At some sites the settlement appears to have grown, often with houses spilling out of the main enclosure and clustered around it. At these sites up to 30 houses may be found. In the Cumbrian uplands the settlements were of less regimented form and unenclosed clusters of houses of broadly contemporary date are also known. These homesteads were being constructed and used by non-Roman natives throughout the period of the Roman occupation. Their origins lie in settlement forms developed before the arrival of the Romans. These homesteads are common throughout the uplands where they frequently survive as well-preserved earthworks. In lowland coastal areas they were also originally common, although there they can frequently only be located through aerial photography. All homestead sites which survive substantially intact will normally be identified as nationally important.

Despite the absence of upstanding earthwork features, Petteril Green Romano- British farmstead has been identified by aerial photographs and confirmed by limited excavation. Additionally, an associated field system and two trackways are clearly visible on the aerial photographs. Such field systems provide important evidence of a carefully planned reorganisation of landscape and definiton of landholding. Their articulation with other contemporary archaeological features such as land boundaries, settlements, farmsteads and enclosures, makes them worthy of protection. The monument will also facilitate any further study of Romano-British settlement patterns in the area.


The monument is a Romano-British farmstead with an adjacent field system, and two trackways. It is located on the north west slope of Thiefside Hill, a short distance west of the main Roman road which linked the Roman forts at Old Penrith (known to the Romans as Voreda) and Carlisle (known to the Romans as Luguvalium). The site has been identified from cropmarks visible on aerial photographs which clearly show infilled ditches and buried banks and walls of a sub-rectangular Romano-British farmstead approached from the north west by a trackway which enters the farmstead by a gateway. Also visible on the aerial photographs to the south and east of the farmstead are field boundaries, an enclosure and a trackway.

The Romano-British farmstead measures approximately 108m by 92m internally and is entered by a single gateway on the north west side. Limited excavation during the early 1930's found the farmstead's defences to consist of a rampart 8.5m wide having a clay core faced internally and externally with stone retaining walls. The external retaining wall was found to survive up to 0.45m high and 0.6m wide and comprised three courses of boulders, the lower course of which had been laid in a shallow trench and embedded in clay. The internal retaining wall was found to be much lighter and less well constructed. At the farmstead's gateway a paved causeway 5.8m wide was located. From this gateway a road can be seen on the aerial photograph running north west for approximately 130m. The spatially associated field system includes an enclosure approximately 50m square located adjacent to the farmstead's south eastern corner, and a number of linear features visible in aerial photographs - some terminating against the farmstead's southern outer wall - which are interpreted as contemporary or later field boundaries. A trackway runs in a north easterly direction from the northern corner of the square enclosure and can be traced in the aerial photographs for approximately 80m.

From the construction techniques employed at the farmstead the excavator concluded it probably dated to the late first century AD.

All modern field boundaries, gateposts and telegraph poles are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath all these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
'Antiquity' in Notes and News, , Vol. 6, (1932)
AP No. XPI 2521,19, Petteril Green Roman Camp, (1984)
AP No. XPI 2521,20, Petteril Green Roman Camp, (1984)
Petteril Green Roman Camp, (1984)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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